To many in the Western world, The Hunger Games will be a massive hit and its going to be a trilogy as the author has 3 books out on the subject. As usual, given the horrendous dysfunctional utopian theme, moral issues abound with the books and the movie. For pure entertainment, its very good 9/10. Those who cannot take gore, brutality, senseless killings (who does), ... will find it a turn off. For ethical reasons: its disturbing to say the least.
To me, movies tell stories and make us think, and entertain at the same time. The Hunger Games accomplishes all. The fact is this kind of scenario where the powers to be keep pulling strings to "manufacture" empathy, restore political balance, gain power over the people ... are all evident in various facets of life. You take that scenario and mesh it with the reality TV craze over the past 10 years, you get The Hunger Games. Reality TV intrudes private space, people generally like to watch "others suffer and/or pull through hardships". Reality TV dumbs us all down to the lowest common denominator. I think some were really well planned, such as Survivor and even The Amazing Race, but much of the rest tries too hard and voyeuristic viewing is too cruel and deplorable. Producers "jiggle" with participants emotions, manufacture situations to create conflicts, sensationalise situations all for the viewing public.
What is The Hunger Games? Its a potent mix of The Truman Show, Reality TV, Rambo and copied extensively from the great Japanese movie Battle Royale. Its Big Brother Orwellian gone bad. We needed to go there to know what could happen if we let certain values get out of hand. Too much credit is given to the author, not enough for the blatant plagiarism of Battle Royale.
In Battle Royale, massive unemployment has caused enormous anger stemming from the younger generation. The government passed a Bill to "control" that and to make sure their youth do not get "weak" Every year one junior high class will be selected at random to participate in Battle Royale in a secluded island with only one person allowed to come out alive. They have to kill because all of them have a special necklace cuff which can be activated to blow up if they do not do so. The event is broadcasted like Reality TV.
The Hunger Games, saw many states warring over a long time. After the war, they were classified into Districts 1-12 depending on the line of work/industry they do. Every year one male and one female teenager will be selected to participate in the games, One lone victor emerges, the participants are called Tributes ( to commemorate the war struggle and maintain peace ... go figure).
Its a nasty side of human nature as putting a group in a boxed environment with specific rules, will cause most to work towards that objective. Survival of the fittest, the will to live will almost always win out the morality and ethical aspects. The Hunger Games is good entertainment, bring your teen kids along, not your under 12s though, and make sure you discuss through the issues in the movie. Too many parents are too protective nowadays. If you live in clean streets all the time, you do not understand how people live in poverty. If The Hunger Games is a 9/10, Battle Royale is 11/10.